Football: England role for Wilkinson

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The Independent Online
Howard Wilkinson, the Football Association's technical director, has taken over as the coach of the England Under-18 side.

It will represent the first hands-on coaching role for the former Leeds manager, who has taken over the Under-18 duties from David Burnside and Ted Powell, since moving into his new FA position in January. He will have a prompt opportunity to work with the Under-18 squad, who will attend a training camp at Lilleshall from 16 to 20 August prior to their opening European Championship qualifier against Yugoslavia at Rotherham on 9 September.

The Croatian international defender Nikola Jerkan has joined Rapid Vienna on loan for a year from Nottingham Forest. Jerkan, capped 32 times, formerly played for NK Zagreb, Vinkovci and Hajduk Split before moving to Oviedo in Spain. He joined Forest for pounds 1m after the 1996 European Championship, but made only 14 appearances last season.

Nigel Spackman, Sheffield United's caretaker manager, is likely to be given the job on a full-time basis today. Spackman has been in charge since Howard Kendall left to return to Everton this summer, after leading the Blades to last season's First Division play-off final. In his two games in charge he has secured an impressive home League win against Sunderland and a draw at Wrexham in the Coca-Cola Cup.

Ipswich have signed the former Tottenham and Queen's Park Rangers defender David Kerslake on a free transfer. The 31-year-old Kerslake was released by Spurs in the summer, and he had been on a week-to-week deal at Charlton.

Terry Venables has signed his fifth Australian player in four weeks for Portsmouth. The former England manager, who is the coach of the Australian national team as well as the chairman at Fratton Park, has signed the international midfielder Craig Foster on a four-year contract.

Foster, who has moved to Fratton Park for pounds 200,000 from Sydney Marconi, joins his fellow Australians John Aloisi, Hamilton Thorp, Robbie Enes and Zeljko Kalac at Pompey.

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